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When Aspidistra first got together, the role we envisaged for our orchestra was to provide background music for conferences, exhibitions, banquets, antique fairs and so forth.
We never thought we would be giving public concerts where people would come just to listen to the music. It was actually the enthusiastic reception from our audiences abroad that gave us the confidence to put on public concerts at home.
Sadly, the number of requests for a live Palm Court Orchestra has diminished sharply in the last few decades. Piped music and DJs typically provide "musical wallpaper" for most events.
We think this is a shame because there is nothing that gets a party going so well as a small orchestra in the corner. Often, it is the music that makes the occasion, not the décor or the people.
Many assume that the cost of hiring a seven-piece orchestra of classical musicians must be prohibitive. To dispel any myths about astronomical fees, we have decided to boldly announce that we ask £950 to play for weddings in the Greater London area, all-inclusive. For charitable events we are happy to offer a £500 discount.
On some occasions we might agree to play for less for charitable concerts.